Not long now till Coachella!
The Coachella line up is looking pretty sweet – Solange and Janelle Monae would be my top choices – but what other things to do at Coachella are there apart from the music?
Like a lot of festivals it’s now a whole multi-sense experience with imaginative installations, epic food stalls and a whole load of other Coachella activities to keep you busy for the four days. Here’s a little insight into what you can do at Coachella to really make the most of the festival.
What to do at Coachella Festival (apart from the music)
1. Celeb spotting at Coachella
Unfortunately the only celeb I spotted in the crowd at Coachella was Busy Philipps (from Dawson’s Creek, and many other things). She was dancing in front of us for Rudimental.
But, celebs are everywhere at Coachella. This is the festival for them to be spotted at, if the media is to be believed (ha). I think I was probably too concentrated on having a good time to notice them, also it was the second weekend.
If you really want the best chance of seeing celebrities at Coachella, you need to go for the first weekend.
Any Brits going to Coachella should check out my Brit’s Guide to Coachella.
Also make sure you have a valid ESTA USA Visa to get in the country.
2. Locate the chill out spots
During the day Coachella is absolutely scorching. It’s so hot. Thankfully the brands that like to advertise have cottoned onto the fact that what people really want from Coachella is Wi-Fi and to be able to breathe. The year I went, Spotify had a cool tent, as in literally cool, blasting out the air conditioning and offering Wi-Fi and charging spots for all.
Find the places like these if you hope to survive the heat at Coachella. These tents and pop ups are also a great opportunity for meeting people and making friends, if that’s your thing.
3. Chill in Coachella camping
Camping at Coachella is so much fun – there’s a great atmosphere on the campsite and you’ll definitely meet some cool people. When I think back to what I did at Coachella, a lot of the day time was spent on the camping site. Thanks to the sun we were up at sunrise and the gates didn’t open till 11am, so we had plenty of time to chill there.
There are showers, decent toilets, you can camp with your car and there’s an ice man who goes around. Just chill out!
Of course if you have a hotel nearby then you can spend the morning relaxing there. Things don’t really get going until later anyway.
4. Explore the grounds
Don’t just go to the main stage and stay there. Have a look around the festival grounds and spot all the cool stuff you can do. The year I went there were quite a few brands giving away free stuff, so we were at the ice lolly giveaway every few hours. Can’t actually remember the brand though, so that didn’t work.
You’ll find all kinds of cool art installations and experimental pieces to check out. We got chatting with some guys who were painting all the bins. Lots of accomplished and wannabe artists at Coachella, in every discipline.
5. People watching at Coachella
The people who go to Coachella are fascinating. One of my favourite days was sitting in the shade, watching everyone go by and just checking out their outfits. There’s definitely a look to Coachella. It’s all flowers, crochet and men have their tops off. With those scarves over their faces for the dust.
Some people really make the effort and go all out with their costumes, sometimes with very entertaining results.
6. Go out and explore on your own
Leave your friends and go and explore. Obviously tell them where you’re going first. As I said there are some real characters at Coachella and if you find them you never know how your night might end up!
7. Take a pedicab
When you just can’t bothered to walk for a minute more the pedicabs are a great idea. Just flag them down as they drive by. Also, keep an eye out for the free shuttles to the supermarket to stock up on supplies.
8. Eat at Coachella
There’s a whole food village called Indio Central Market set up for you to explore at Coachella. I’d say go all out and eat what you can from the 15+ stalls. There’s a good variety thanks to the fact that the fussy food crowd Coachella seems to attract. Kale, salted caramel and avocados everywhere!
9. Drink at Coachella
They’re pretty strict at Coachella about smuggling alcohol in, in fact, we didn’t actually get any in. But the fact our tent was just a two-minute walk from the entrance meant we didn’t really need to – just another benefit from camping at Coachella!
There are plenty of bars where you can buy beer, wine and cocktails – so long as you’re over 21. If you want to find out more about the drinking vibe at Coachella check out my post on the rules.
If you like your craft beers try the Heineken tent. There are over 100 different beers for you to try.
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10. Watch the fireworks
The Coachella fireworks on day 3 are not to be missed. Make sure you have a drink and friends ready and look to the sky at the end of the Sunday headliner.
11. Download the Coachella app
This way you’ll be able to stay on top of who’s playing where, and how to get to each destination. You’ll also be able to keep an eye on the latest updates including those all important random Coachella stage appearances the festival is so known for.
I mean, who will Childish Gambino bring on this year?
12. Find the games and activities
Look at the Coachella schedule and keep an ear out to find the best games and activities to join in with. When I went there was everything from three legged races to dodgeball. You can also find arcades, spelling bees and contests too. And don’t forget the workshops too!